The following is an article written by Trellance’s Chief Services Officer, Steve Kass.
We’ve talked a lot in the last year about the tech talent shortage and the difficulties in finding and attracting good talent. With the recent layoffs of tens of thousands of employees from prominent technology companies such as Google and Microsoft, it may appear as if the end to those difficulties is well within sight – however.
Many of those laid off will have specialized skills that may or may not adapt to the credit union industry, and certainly their pay expectations may be quite different from what is on offer from your average credit union. When creating your job listings and conducting your interviews, keep these key tips in mind in order to ensure a smooth hiring process.
Set Expectations Early On
Some expectations can be explained prior to ever receiving an application – including a salary range in your job posting is a good way to only attract those candidates who are within your budget. Not including the salary range blank may lead to wasted time on both your part and the applicant’s. Additionally, salary range is required in certain states with new pay transparency requirements.
Include detailed job descriptions of what you will expect from someone hired for the position – this ensures that applicants know what they’re getting into, and don’t feel mislead later on if the actual responsibilities of the position don’t quite meet expectations.
Determine Experience and Adaptability
There’s always a learning curve at any new job, no matter the industry. But when you’re interviewing candidates for a data scientist position or for an application developer role, make sure you’re gaining a full picture of not just the candidate’s history of experience with that role, but of their ability to adapt as well. Microsoft’s needs will not always meet a credit union’s needs, and the way things were done at Google may not match how you do things. And while that may be expected to a certain extent, ensuring that your candidate can pivot their thinking and adapt to the needs of a new industry is vital to ensuring their success at your credit union, and your credit union’s digital success moving forward.
Try asking your candidates questions such as:
- What industries have you worked in prior to your last role?
- Can you tell me of a time when you had to adjust a project due to evolving expectations part way though?
- What are the aspects of your last role that you enjoyed the most? That you enjoyed the least?
What Resources and Tools are They Used to
If you’re interviewing a candidate who has just come from a multi-billion tech corporation, they may be used to having access to tools and resources that your credit union just can’t provide. Talk to your candidates about their ability to work in a small or mid-sized team, their ability to innovate solutions based on available resources, and their ability to self-start. Candidates that need a large team to bounce ideas off of, or who are used to working on siloed projects, may not fit the culture of your credit union. Talk to them, too, about the tools they have experience using and what they like best. Their answers may give you insight into how they’re used to completing projects, and what they expect to have available to them. Don’t rule a candidate out just because they rattle off a long list of tools you don’t have access to – they may still prove themselves able and willing to adapt to the resources at hand.
Ask your candidates things such as:
- What was the size of the last team you worked on? What size team do you prefer?
- Do you prefer to work individually or in a group?
- Tell me about a process at your last job that you changed or revamped in order to achieve better efficiency or to better meet the needs of the company?
Consider a Contract Talent Provider for Assistance
As you’re evaluating your tech needs, make sure you’re also considering using a contract talent provider in order to secure the talent you need. If you have projects that need to be completed ASAP or timelines that simply cannot be slowed down for the hiring and training process, using contract talent may be the right solution. This approach allows you to sort through already vetted tech talent to find the skills that match your needs. You can acquire resources for long-term or short-term, onshore or off, and depending on the company you utilize to find talent, you may be able to acquire talent that has experience with credit unions, allowing you to get started that much faster.
When speaking to an agency or contract talent provider, make sure to ask the following questions:
- What other credit unions has the candidate worked with? On what projects?
- How many overall years of experience do they have? How many years in credit unions?
- What systems or tools will they need from me?
- Where do they live/in what time zone, and are they available during my hours of business?
Hiring tech talent is as difficult as it’s ever been, even in a suddenly saturated market. But you can still get the talent you need by making sure to ask the right questions and thoroughly vetting your candidates. Using a talent provider is always an option as well, and may allow you to more effectively complete your tech projects. When considering your tech needs for the coming year, make sure to evaluate your budget, the role, and the timeline for your projects.
Steve Kass is the chief services officer at Trellance.